Josh Howard's left ankle had enough ice strapped to it to cool off a 12-pack after shootaround this morning. And the joint that will require some arthroscopic surgery in the off-season isn't getting any better as the first-round series has gone on.
"Josh's ankle is going to be sore,'' coach Rick Carlisle said before the game. "I believe he's going to start and we'll take it from there.
"I know that there's still some pain and we need the rest we get between games for him. The only thing I can tell you is he had an incident late in Game 4 where he went up and came down awkwardly. So that was a zinger that probably didn't help things. But he's played through pain a lot this year. And we obviously need him very badly.''
His ankle is yet another reason why the Mavericks need to get this series over with ASAP. A week, or at least four or five days, of rest wouldn't hurt a bit.